By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN It has been a busier than usual summer at Lester Prairie School as contractors and volunteers made improvements to the school.
Contractors removed asbestos, updated heating and ventilation systems, and installed new lighting and carpeting.
Volunteers spent hundreds of hours adding a fresh coat of paint to give the school a new look.
School staff and volunteers were busy last week moving desks and equipment back into classrooms that had been renovated. Superintendent Mike McNulty said things would be ready for the start of classes this week.
Many of the improvements in areas such as the cafeteria and science room were required to meet current standards and qualified for health and safety funding.
A request to transfer additional health and safety funds for asbestos removal and installation of a sprinkler system recommended by the fire marshal was denied by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).
McNulty and School Board Member Joe Miller, along with some of the school’s consultants, met with MDE representatives last Monday to appeal the denial.
McNulty said the MDE listened to the district’s appeal, but did not change its decision.
The next regular school board meeting is scheduled Monday, Sept. 17, but McNulty said it is possible that a special board meeting may be scheduled sooner.
He said items that would be discussed if a special meeting is called include the roof, sprinkler system, and possible special election to bring the transfer question to district voters.
McNulty said parents will have an opportunity to see some of the improvements that have been made over the summer during an open house Friday, Sept. 14 from 4 to 6 p.m.